THERE are going to be a lot of aged aunt Olivias around in the year 2081, as well as grandpa Olivers, because both names have emerged as the number one choice for UK babies born in 2010.
The naming of newborn babies is, of course, a challenge for many parents.
Give a child a name that is too unusual and he or she will either have to live up to it or change it later by deed poll - as David Bowie’s son Zowie (now Duncan Jones) did.
From the list compiled each year by parenting club Bounty, it’s clear to see that celebrity role models, movies and television are playing an increasing part in helping parents to choose names.
For example, Bella, the heroine of vampire series Twilight, emerged this year as the highest climber of the girl’s list, while Kai (the name chosen by the Rooney’s for their infant son) has moved right up the boy’s list.
What always amuses me is how two people with perfectly ordinary names - of the sort that attract no attention or expectations - feel that it’s not just OK but almost essential to give their children weirdo appellations.
Take, for instance, Bob and the late Paula Geldof and their offspring Fifi Trixiebelle, Peaches and Pixie, or Jonathan Ross and Jane Goldman with their children Betty Kitten, Harvey Kirby (named after Jack Kirby, a comic book creator whom Ross especially admires), and Honey Kinney.
I could go on about other celebs with their Apples, Rumens, Romeos and Princess Tiaamiis, but you get the drift.
The most telling line in the report that accompanied the Bounty list was the statement: “A recent study found that one in five parents regret the names they have chosen for their children, so it’s more important than ever for parents to choose a name they and their child will love for the rest of their life.”
So if you’ve been toying with something really off the wall, it might be kinder to get a dog, cat or hamster and try the name out for a while.
Cats generally don’t mind someone shouting ‘Persimmon, where are you?’ or ‘dinner time Hagar.’